Felix from Gurney's Seed and Nursery demonstrates how to prune and care for blackberry plants in the early season. Find out how to trim, train and support the branches for optimum growth and fruit production.Transcript
Hi everyone, Felix here at Gurney's and I'm here in our research farm looking at the thornless blackberry, and I want to talk a little bit about just some basic pruning here in the early season--late winter early spring. You can look, we've got a crown where we planted the thornless blackberry and we've got a number of nice healthy, canes initiating, and we have a couple that have, you know, died back. You can tell here, if you look at the color on this cane. This one here is brown, and if you see that brown, you can always scrape it a little bit, make sure there's no green, but this nice purplish color, is really what you're after that tells you have a vibrant cane going there. So we want to trim out this one that had a little die back. Here's another one, this was actually a fruiting shoot from last year. So that's finished up. So for pruning these, there's a little bit of die back that needs to come out and then, if you follow these canes on up, it's one of these buds that are behind last year's leaf petiole is where you're going to get a fruiting shoot this growing season. So, really you want those trained where they can be tied to some wire to your fence, wherever, whatever you're growing them on, you want to tie those up. That way, they can be supported for that fruit load. A lot of these thornless blackberry, these thorn less types like Triple Crown, they'll bear pounds of fruit. I mean you can get fifteen, twenty, twenty-five pounds of fruit. The University of Kentucky had a yield on Triple Crown of twenty-five pounds off of one crown, so you can really get some weight. So you need to support these canes because they're not where they can bear that weight. You need to have them tied up on something that will help support that fruit load. But each one of these pods here is going to send out a shoot similar to what we just saw here in last year's growth. This is what you should cut, this came out of one of those buds, it was a shoot like this, and that then it bears at the tip, you can see your cluster here, on last year's growth, It was at the tip of that shoot. So each one of these clubs is going to, is capable of sending out one of those fruiting shoots, and that's really what you want to consider when you prune this, is that you have support and that there's a nice distribution where you get sunlight to those buds for good fruit, sugar development, so they're nice and sweet. That's really all there is to it. Thanks for joining us here today and look for our follow up videos with blackberries on how to manage and pick those fruit later in the summer.